Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kyle Anderson finally made it home to the East Coast from Los Angeles Tuesday night.
Now he’s set to visit Seton Hall Thursday and St. John’s next Wednesday in two unofficial visits that could prove critical in his decision. (He will also trip to Georgetown on Tuesday.)
The 6-foot-8 Anderson will choose from among those three Big East schools, Florida and UCLA on Sept. 20.
Hall of Fame St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley broke down the two local schools Wednesday morning during a phone interview with SNY.tv.
“I think with Seton Hall, he’s a teammate of Fuquan [Edwin] from high school [Paterson Catholic], so there’s a connection there,” said Hurley, whose team went undefeated and won the mythical national championship last season. “And I think the family feels right now that he’s developed into such a good player that even at a school whose talent pool isn’t quite what it was, he can still go there and help the team to win.
“I think Seton Hall even though people can criticize the roster for not being so strong because some of the names are not local kids, I think he can go in there and, because he’s such a good player, he can do things to make other players better.”
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard worked extremely hard all summer, following Anderson throughout the AAU circuit. He knows that in addition to pure talent, Anderson is exactly what Seton Hall needs to reverse the negative perception it has accumulated in the recent past.
Anderson is a Bob Hurley kid, a high-character kid. He’s a member of the Playaz Basketball Club. He played at Paterson Catholic. And he’s piled up a slew of MVP awards this summer at the highest level.
“All summer long his teams have won,” Hurley said. “Whether he played for St. Anthony’s or whether he played for the Playaz, they won. And when it comes down to it at the end of games, he makes plays. And you want somebody to give you statistics, but you also want a performance that counts. And that’s what he really does.”
If Anderson were to pull the trigger for Seton Hall, their 2012-13 starting lineup could look like this:
PG – Kyle AndersonSG – Aaron Cosby / Haralds Karlis / Sean GrennanSF – Fuquan Edwin / Brian Oliver / Patrik AudaPF – Raymon Austin / Brandon MobleyC – Gene Teague / Kevin Johnson (assuming Johnson qualifies)
While Seton Hall is in Anderson’s home state of Jersey, St. John’s is in New York and plays in Madison Square Garden. Keep in mind that Anderson’s mother, Suzanne, lives in Harlem.
Anderson is also well aware of the nationally-ranked recruiting class head coach Steve Lavin has brought in for this year.
“It’s close to home,” Anderson said of St. John’s by phone from California. “Coach Lavin is a great coach so I’ll be playing for a great staff. The incoming freshmen are coming in this year that will be sophomores in the Big East.”
Hurley also pointed to St. John’s incoming trove of talent as a motivating factor.
“With St. John’s, the roster’s terrific,” he said. “So he can go in there and play with players, their wings. Their guys at the 2, 3, 4 are really talented. To have finishers all around him, guys would be able to finish all the passes that he makes and he could really settle in there and just try to stir the drink.”
Here’s how St. John’s 2012-13 roster could look with Anderson:
PG – Kyle Anderson / Phil GreeneSG – Nurideen Lindsey / D’Angelo Harrison / Darrick WoodSF – Maurice Harkless / Amir Garrett / Sir’Dominic PointerPF – Ricardo Gathers / God’sGift Achiuwa / JaKarr SampsonC – Norvel Pelle
After the Seton Hall, Georgetown and St. John’s visits, Anderson takes an official to Florida Sept. 16.
Hurley said he believes Anderson remains “open.”
“I think he’s open to things and it’s going to happen and I don’t think anybody’s fretting over this, which is terrific,” Hurley said. “He’s acting like any other high school senior getting ready for the beginning of school.
“He finished an unbelievable summer and he’s getting ready now to help to lead us during the season.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.